The other side of the virus.

    March 24, 2020

    A poem from a Jesuit priest.

    The Other Side of the Virus,
    An Opportunity to Awaken…
    Yes there is panic buying.
    Yes there is sickness.
    Yes there is even death.


    They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
    You can hear the birds again.

    They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
    The sky is no longer thick with fumes
    But blue and grey and clear.

    They say that in the streets of Assisi
    People are singing to each other
    across the empty squares,
    keeping their windows open
    so that those who are alone
    may hear the sounds of family around them.

    They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
    is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

    Today a young woman I know
    is busy spreading fliers with her number
    through the neighbourhood
    so that the elders may have someone to call on.

    Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
    are preparing to welcome
    and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.

    All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.

    All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way.

    All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
    To how big we really are.
    To how little control we really have.
    To what really matters.
    To Love.

    So we pray and we remember that

    Yes there is fear.
    But there does not have to be hate.

    Yes there is isolation.
    But there does not have to be loneliness.

    Yes there is panic buying.
    But there does not have to be meanness.

    Yes there is sickness.
    But there does not have to be disease of the soul

    Yes there is even death.
    But there can always be a rebirth of love.

    Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

    Today, breathe.

    Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic-
    The birds are singing again
    The sky is clearing,
    Spring is coming,

    And we are always encompassed by Love.

    Open the windows of your soul
    And though you may not be able
    to touch across the empty square,


    – Written by Fr. Richard Hendrick

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